Antonio Pierce Not Indicted; NFL Will Not Suspend: A Manhattan grand jury has decided not to indict linebacker Antonio Pierce on gun charges stemming from the November 2008 incident where former Giant wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in a nightclub. Pierce allegedly took possession of the firearm after the incident, causing the Manhattan District Attorney and the grand jury to investigate the matter.
With the decision to not indict Pierce, the NFL also announced yesterday that it will not suspend Pierce. “In light of today’s Grand Jury decision, we see no basis for a suspension of Antonio Pierce,” said a League’s spokesman.
“We certainly agree with the grand jury’s decision,” said Giants’ President and CEO John Mara. “We said last week we felt strongly that Antonio’s actions did not warrant criminal charges, and obviously the grand jury, having heard all of the testimony, felt the same way.”
“This was an extremely serious matter that Antonio and our organization responded to in an appropriate way,” said Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch. “Needless to say, we are happy with the decision announced today by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.”
“Antonio is a leader on this team, but he is still human, and this has been an emotionally draining experience for him,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “We know he was happy to get to training camp yesterday, and with this behind him, he can focus all his energy and efforts on football. He took this matter very seriously.”
“As I said yesterday, we are anxious to start the new season, nobody more than Antonio,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “Today’s decision allows himand this team to move forward and focus on our preparation for the season.”
Burress was indicted on two felony counts of second degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. Burress faces a minimum of 3 and a half years of prison if convicted.
BigBlueInteractive.com Training Camp Reports: To see the latest BBI training camp reports, please visit the Training Camp section of the website.
Giants’ Beat Writer Practice Reports: The following are brief practice reports provided by the NY/NJ beat writers who cover the Giants:
- Star-Ledger Morning Report
- Star-Ledger Afternoon Report
- Daily News Morning Report
- Daily News Afternoon Report
- Newsday Morning Report
- Newsday Afternoon Report
Injury Report: Not practicing yesterday in either practice were DT Rocky Bernard (hamstring/shoulder), DT Fred Robbins (knee), and LB Michael Boley (hip).
DE Justin Tuck (foot) did not practice in the morning, but did so in the afternoon. “There is no (new) injury,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “We are just being precautionary.”
DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) and DT Barry Cofield (knee) practiced in the morning, but not the afternoon, as the Giants are being careful with both players as well. LG Rich Seubert (sore shoulder) also sat out in the afternoon.
Article on the Giants’ Wide Receiving Corps: Giants Will Be Fine Replacing Burress, Toomer by Pat Kirwan of NFL.com
Notes and Quotes: Former NFL wide receiver Keenan McCardell and college coach Alonso Escalente (McDaniel College) are working with the Giants’ coaching staff in camp as part of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship.
McCardell played for 16 years in the NFL, including six seasons with Tom Coughlin’s Jacksonville Jaguars. “Keenan expressed a desire to learn a little bit more about the coaching profession,” Coughlin said. “We talked in the offseason and when the opportunity came – seeing as how we have some young receivers – it seemed like a natural for us to have Keenan here. He can work with them on the little things and talk to them about how they need to act, their mannerisms and some of the little subtleties at the position. Keenan was a very, very smart player who knew all positions, knew the quarterback’s reads – the whole deal. He was really a tough, tough receiver. He’d go over the middle, he’d get banged around; I remember he had a separated shoulder and he still practiced and played. He didn’t want to miss a thing. Keenan also has that natural gift of enthusiasm. You watch him at practice and during the drills and you can see that he enjoys what he’s doing. It’s a really nice combination to have our coaching staff and the ability and the experience we have there and then have Keenan here in the capacity of a guy who is recognized as an outstanding player and can really share the details of the position with the young receivers.”
“(I tell) the (young Giants’) receivers to believe in their talent,” McCardell said. “Don’t second-guess yourself. You’ve been coached to do certain things. Do them and let your talent come out. All these guys have great talent, but they may not be as confident as they should. At that position, you have to have confidence to be successful. You have to be confident on the field and a consummate pro off the field.”